Monday, March 29, 2010

Hawaiian Coins Done!

Hawaiian Coins  60" x 63"
Chinese Coins Pattern

I finished Hawaiian Coins last night.  I brought it to work today and gave it to Dave, the director of our office, who retires tomorrow (Tuesday).  Dave often has given silver coins as awards, and is retiring to Hawaii.  Hence, the name Hawaiian Coins. 

There is loop-de-loop free-motion quilting on the black areas only.  I left the coins columns unquilted.  I tried a different technique for the quilting phase.  The quilt was divided into three large sections, as usual.  I quilted the center area separately.  Then I took one side section and joined the layers to the center section a la Kaye Woods' 6-Hour Quilt, pressed open, sprayed a little 505 to keep the "new" layers still, then quilted the black columns in the newly joined section.  Then I joined the other side section, pressed, sprayed and quilted.  I think I like this method, partly because I was able to avoid the zigzag join that I usually have used.  I'll try to remember to show detail next time I use it.

 Sample of airplane fabric that has yet to arrive from Canada.
I surrounded the little piece I had with light aqua fabric from stash.
It became the label area on the back.
I included "Airplane!  Debbie's Favorite Movie" on the label.

 Here is the backup airplane fabric I bought at Britex in San Francisco a couple of Fridays ago.  It doesn't quite have the same effect as the classy, vintage looking one, does it?

 Isn't this backing fabric great?  I found it at Joann's on Saturday. 
I thought I was going to have to settle for a solid.  I love it!

 Back of the quilt

Another WIP finished!  Okay, I've made two quilts from scratch in less than a month.  (The other is Fonda's Blue and White.)  What a relief to have them done!  At the moment I have no quilt deadlines, and I'm enjoying a nice relaxing evening.  I'll go back to working on my own Papillons de Paris.  Then I'll make a little quilt for my new granddaughter Piper, who will be making an appearance sometime in May.

Bookending with Twitter

I joined Twitter a couple of weeks ago.  Shortly after that I discovered a website for Bookending, where you decide to do something, post a message that you're going to do it, execute, then follow up by posting that you finished.

I got a lot done with the help of the bookending site, but I'm ready to try my own version.  So I'm going to use Twitter for my bookending.  It may look kind of boring, but it's to help me get things done.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bad News, Good News

First the bad news:  The airplane fabric for part of the back of Hawaiian Coins still has not arrived from Canada.  Today was my self-imposed deadline before I moved to Plan B.  Now the good news:  I was able to come up with a small bit of the airplane print.  Yippee!  I just need to attach some borders to the little piece to build it up and I'll be in business.

Tonight I'll take apart the temporary seams between the three large vertical sections of the quilt top.  Tomorrow I'll start machine quilting.  Dave is normally in and out of the office, so I'm bringing the finished quilt to work on Monday to make sure I can deliver it by Tuesday, his last day before retiring.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fonda's Blue and White Finished

I finished Fonda's Blue and White quilt last night.  I gave it to Fonda today, her last day before retiring.  She loved the quilt.  As mentioned before, Fonda is Dutch and proud of it.  She loves blue and white pottery, figurines, etc.  Those elements were the inspiration for the quilt.  Below is a photo of the finished quilt.
Fonda's Blue and White  60" square

The following pics are from the beginning of the quilt, which I didn't take the time to post as I progressed.  Ordinarily a quilt like this would have taken me 10-14 days to produce.  I did it in four days.  I boogied!

EQ sketch

Windmill block (a referral to Fonda's Dutch heritage)

Windmill blocks laid out on the design wall.
Most of the blue and white-on-white fabric was from stash.

Blue and white teapot fabric.
Also from stash, given to me by a friend.  I love blue and white teapots, and I gave up some of this fabric for Fonda.  There's still about 2/3 yard left for some future project for myself.

Teapot fabric joins the windmill blocks

Finished quilt top

Backing fabric--a sweet miniature print in blue and white (new)

I used a pillowcase technique to sew the quilt sandwich together, turned it right side out, and top-stitched along the edges to close the opening.  The quilt is tied with embroidery floss.  Another WIP and WHIMM finish.

Enjoy retirement, Fonda!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fonda's Blue and White Quilt Top Done

Last night I finished the top for Fonda's Blue and White.  Tonight I'll be finishing the quilt for tomorrow's delivery.  There's lots of work in store!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fonda's Blue and White

I'm still waiting for the airplane fabric to arrive from Canada.  With my absolute deadline for delivery looming, I'll have to set a cutoff date, and if the fabric hasn't come by then, go ahead without it.  I found a cartoonish airplane fabric at Britex in San Francisco on Friday.  It's my backup, just in case.

Meanwhile, I'm working on another quilt with a quick deadline.  Fonda P., a co-worker, is retiring on Wednesday, two days from now!  She is Dutch and very proud of it, collects blue and white Delft type of pottery and figurines.  I tried to find a little Dutch girl fabric online, but had no luck.  So I'm sacrificing part of a fabric with blue and white teapots.  (I love blue and white and I love teapots.  I go ga-ga when they're together.)

For the quilt design I'm using Windmill blocks with blue fans and white-on-white backgrounds.  Most of the fabrics are from stash, save a couple of fat quarters and a bit of new white-on-white.  Alternate squares will be the teapot fabric. 

I started sewing the Windmill blocks on Saturday, and have all 13 blocks finished.  Tonight my goal is to get the top pieced and the quilt layers sewn together pillowcase style, ready for turning.

No time to post pictures right now.  Got to get sewing!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Amish Abstractions and Joe Cunningham

Today I'm on my way to San Francisco with my quilting friend Judy P. to see the Amish Abstractions quilt exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  On hand this afternoon will be famous quilter Joe Cunningham, also known as Joe the Quilter.

We'll be taking BART and a bus.  I'd like to go to the nearby Japanese Tea Garden while we're in Golden Gate Park.  It's been many years since I've been to the tea garden.  I'd like to be able to compare it to the beautiful one I visit in Fresno.  I'm anticipating many tourists and lots of school children in the tea garden today.

If we have time, we may go to Britex fabric store downtown, too. I don't know if Judy has been there before. It's been a few years since I've visited. Too often I've been to The City on a Sunday, the day they're closed; I arrive too late or there just isn't time; the person with me wouldn't have the least bit of interest. Maybe today it will work out.

There are lots of beautiful quilts in store for today, and plenty of fun to be had with my friend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hawaiian Coins Presentation Went Well

Things went differently than planned at the office-wide meeting today.  My presentation of Hawaiian Coins was to take place at the end of the meeting, along with several other gifts to Dave, our retiring director.  Unfortunately, I was inadvertently forgotten.  The director gave his closing remarks, and we were dismissed.

The good news is I was able to do the presentation later...four times!  The first time was semi-privately to Dave, where I explained the story behind the quilt, and the meaning of the yet-to-arrive airplane fabric for the back.  Dave really liked the quilt.

Part of today's celebration was a catered lunch for the staff.  I made three public presentations to the lunch crowds as different groups came and left the room.

Another part of today's festivities was an afternoon open house, with many guests from outside our office.  Among the guests were lots of retired staff--it was like old home week.  I was on standby to do another presentation, but the crowd was too noisy to try to quiet them down, and I was okay with skipping it.

I got plenty of compliments on the quilt, and now I'm waiting for the airplane fabric to arrive so I can finish the quilt and give it to Dave for keeps.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quilt Top Ready for Tomorrow

Hawaiian Coins in 6 big pieces

Three large sections.
Up to this point all seams are permanent.

Quilt top ready for presentation at tomorrow's office-wide meeting.
Except for borders of black on the top and bottom, this is how the finished quilt will look.

The last two vertical seams were made with longest stitch possible,
so I can rip them out easily later for quilting in sections.

Hawaiian Coins...Ready or Not!

The airplane fabric has not arrived from Canada yet.  I'm not happy about it.  I had hoped to have the Hawaiian Coins quilt done and ready for presentation at tomorrow's officewide meeting (200 people), but it's not going to happen.  I gave up Saturday when I checked my mail and there was no package...again.  That was my last chance to buy coordinating fabric and finish up the quilt.  I considered buying just anything for the back, but I decided that the special airplane fabric that I'm waiting on was important, and it would be worth the delay.

I talked to Tamara, the assistant director, today, and told her there was no way I could finish the quilt for tomorrow's meeting.  She suggested showing the quilt as is, and to tell the audience that the quilt is a work in progress.  I agreed to do that.  I really wanted to be able to show off the quilt in front of everyone, anyway, so this is a win-win for me.

I'm a few hours away from getting the top pieced together.  Sashing needs to be attached to the coin sections.  I got about a third of it done last night in an hour-and-a-half, so I should be able to finish the rest tonight without a problem.  I'm planning to do my usual quilting in sections, so after I get three large areas pieced together, I'll baste them together with a long stitch, which will give me the chance to show the top as one piece, but take the seams apart easily.

I expect to have the top done well before my bedtime.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coin Sections Finished

I finished the coin sections last night.  They went pretty quickly. 

The 10-strip sequence. 
Originally I had planned to do a Stack the Deck technique.  But after thinking it over and moving things around in my head for quite a while, I decided to use the same order throughout.  It was simple, and still provided the scrappy look I was after.

Eight strips are sewn together, then cut into three coin sections. 
The bottom two strips will be used in the next set.

8 strips sewn together

Cut into 3 sections, each 6" wide

3 coin sections laid out on wall

The two leftover strips have been placed at the top. 
As before, the bottom strips will be used in the next (third) set.

Second set of 8 strips sewn together

Cut into three sections

6 coin sections

I repeated a few more times, until I had 20 coin sections.

All five coin columns, each with 4 coin sections.

The airplane fabric has not arrived from Canada yet.  I'm hoping it comes in the next few days.  When it gets here I'll be able to look for more fabric to fill out the back, probably a turquoise solid or tone-on-tone.  Meanwhile I can sew black sashing between the columns.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Hawaiian Coins: Sewing Has Begun

After spending several days gathering fabric for Hawaiian Coins, I started sewing yesterday.

Here are the "keepers" that made the cut for the quilt.  About half are from stash.

Left: Standbys if needed.  Right:  Sorry, not this time.

I figured I needed 20 coin sections, each 6" x 16.5" unfinished.  There are some batiks that I want to feature prominently, to give the quilt the Hawaiian feel.  Each of those would account for 3 coin sections.  I still had lots of fabrics left.  I decided to use as many as possible, cut 7" strips and sewed together several sets of three.

One set of 3 strips

All five of the 3-strip sets

My next step is to stack alternating batiks and strip sets, four layers deep.  Then I'll make horizontal cuts at 2.5" wide.  With that done, I should be able to use a Stack the Deck technique to mix the horizontal cuts so I get a variety of fabrics when the horizontal slices are sewn together.

Fabric for the back

I was hoping to find an airplane fabric for the back of the quilt.  Why airplane?  Airplane!, a silly movie from the 80's, is my favorite movie.  If I remember correctly, Dave likes the movie, too.  So the airplane is an inside joke from me to him.

I found one fabric possibility at Equilter, but I really liked the one above which I found at Ebay.  The seller had 4 fat quarters available.  I needed much more than that to cover the back of the quilt.  Before I bid, I asked the seller if there was any writing on the selvage.  I was hoping to find more of the fabric elsewhere on the internet.  She said there's nothing on the selvage.  After spending hours searching the Web, I gave up.  I bought 2 fat quarters, cut as a half yard, from the Ebay seller, and I'll have to find some other fabric--probably a solid--to surround it.  The fabric is coming from Canada, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will arrive within a week.

More sewing in store today!

Papillons de Paris on Pause

Papillons de Paris, as of 3/5/2010
Papillons de Paris is on Pause for a time, since I'm working on Hawaiian Coins, which is due by the end of March.  Above is a photo of Papillons in progress before I took it down from the design wall.  I'll come back to it soon.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Hawaiian Coins

Hawaiian Coins

Okay, I'm crazy.  Last week our office learned that our director, Dave I., would be retiring at the end of March.  This came as a surprise to many of us.  Today we got an email from our assistant director that we will be having a going-away recognition at our upcoming officewide meeting later this month.  The theme is coins.  Why?  Coin collecting is one of Dave's hobbies.  Also, often he gives silver coins as employee awards.  As I read the email I got the inspiration to make a Chinese Coins quilt for Dave.  Since he is retiring to Hawaii, I decided to use a cool tropical palette in blue/green/purple and name the quilt Hawaiian Coins.  The borders will be in black.

On the way home tonight I picked up 8 fat quarters, and I'll shop my stash for more fabric.  The EQ sketch above shows uniform coins, but I'm thinking of doing a variety of depths, maybe 1" - 2.5".  I plan to do a lot of strip piecing and use my 6" ruler to cut columns of coins.  This should make things go pretty quickly.

I let Tamara, our assistant director, know I'd be making a quilt, that I wasn't sure I could finish the quilt by the March 17 meeting, but I could get it done before the end of the month when Dave says Aloha to the office.  Tamara is excited about the quilt. 

I'll be busy!